Word Final Coda Typology
Published Online: Jan 01, 2017
Language families were chosen based on the classification of Ruhlen (1987) in order to determine the number and kind of word final coda types languages tend to permit. It was found that languages tend to prefer fewer word final segments. Indeed, the extreme case is that which allows no word final consonants at all, a very common description of languages of the world. Next, of those languages that do allow word final coda consonants, the phonological kind of constituency was investigated. It was discovered that languages tend to simultaneously prefer a manner hierarchy (nasal > liquid > obstruent > glide) and a place hierarchy (alveolar > velar > retroflex, tap). The languages in the sample are shown to bear out the predictions made by the quantity and quality tendencies. Finally, the results predict the universality of word final coda constituents preferred by the languages of the world.